I sent the post along to Frist Center curator Mark Scala, hoping to start a dialogue about Piccinini's work. Scala wrote this response:
This Thursday, photographer Alec Soth will be lecturing at Watkins for the final installment of their excellent Visiting Artists Series, and everybody's really excited about it. In the next Scene we'll have a Critic's Pick on the event written by Sara Estes, and I'll write a review of the event and post it here on Country Life.
In the meantime, check out a few of Soth's videos. In my mind, they're even more compelling than his work in still photography. I've posted two of them here, but Soth also did an amazing series called Continental Picture Show for The New York Times a couple years ago that are also worth seeing. I especially like "Iowa Bird Song," a sweet ode to a 114-year-old woman from Ames, Iowa. Click this link to watch them.
Finally, somebody in this town is making a record that’s supposed to be funny! And you’re invited! Which would probably be awkward if it wasn’t a comedy record being recorded in a public place. Let’s face it — watching a band record an album is akin to sitting in on a drunk family trying to balance their checkbook. But this isn’t a band — THANK GOD! We’ve had enough of those! It’s one of the city’s best comedy crews, and they need you in the audience to make this whole crazy Kickstarter-funded idea work. If you showed up and just stared blankly the whole show, that might work too. You never know. It’s comedy — a weird beast that’ll zig when you think it’ll zag. And you can expect all sorts of zagging from Gary Fletcher, Brad Edwards, Sean “Sean Sean” Staggs and the rest of the CJ crew.
More videos of the Corporate Juggernaut crew after the jump.
• This could be one of the best panels you see all week: The Nashville Civic Design Center's Gary Gaston leads a screening of "Design Your Neighborhood," a documentary charting a four-week project in which inner-city kids were given the opportunity to do just what the title says, joining in charrettes with architects, urban planners and other professionals. The post-film panel includes Gaston, Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors, architect Manuel Zeitlin, one of the workshop participants, and filmmaker Carolyn McDonald. Free. 2 p.m.
• Good luck getting a ticket to Saturday's star-studded "The Evolution of Women Behind the Camera," which gathers Beth Grant, Famke Janssen, Nicole Kidman and Carrie Preston to talk about their efforts crossing over from acting to producing and directing. In the event a spare seat is available, however, tickets are $25. 4:30 p.m.
• You've got a chance this morning to see one of last night's most favorably received movies, Nelson Cheng's magic documentary The Magic Life. It's playing at 10:30 a.m., opposite the Young Filmmakers Program (where we've heard good things about projects representing student filmmakers from Watkins and the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts — watch for "Adoraphobia" and "Diminuendo" at 10 a.m.).
• Two big red-carpet items tonight we didn't cover in this week's preview: the Sundance comedy Save the Date (5:30 p.m., with star Lizzy Caplan attending) and 6 Month Rule (6:15 p.m., with actors Natalie Morales and Martin Starr and director Blayne Weaver attending). Trailers posted here.
• See Jason Shawhan's interview with former Nashvillian Roxanne Benjamin, producer of the much-buzzed found-footage horror anthology V/H/S (showing 10 p.m. tonight with segment director Joe Swanberg attending).
Below, a list of films we've already previewed, with recommendations. Check the schedule online here. As always, report back on anything you see.
LEAVE IT ON THE FLOOR (9:45 p.m. April 20, noon April 23)
A teen with nowhere to go finds a new home in Los Angeles' vibrant drag-ball scene with the maternal "Queef Latina."
Why we're excited: Veteran director Sheldon Larry (who'll attend tonight) has been getting good notices for this splashy low-budget musical, said to stake out some of the same territory as the classic doc Paris Is Burning.
First, the bad news: The 7 p.m. show of Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights has been canceled. But look at it as a blessing in disguise — a new slot has magically opened up for your Nashville Film Festival viewing tonight. Below, some previews of this evening's NaFF attractions (such as Sassy Pants, screening 8 p.m. with writer-director Coley Sohn in attendance). See you tonight at Potsy Ponciroli's Super Zeroes, starring Travis Nicholson, Jeremy Childs, and Chris Crofton as "Officer Crofton."
As part of the ongoing partnership between the crafter site Etsy and the mass-modernist furniture and decor chain West Elm, Yetton will host a craft arts-a-thon from 1-6 p.m. in the Hill Center location, featuring the work of 10 Nashville area artisans, plus snacks, beverages, music and a photo booth.
Artists include Acorn and Archer, Gracey May Needlepoint and Southern Lights Electric, to name but three. Check out the full roster over at Pennyweight, and if you're inclined, RSVP over on the Book of Face.
If you've never seen a movie featuring the Freddy Krueger of Brazilian horror — the legendary Jose Mojica Marins as Ze do Caixao, aka Coffin Joe, a top-hatted, whip-wielding homunculus with (real) 20-centimeter fingernails — you'll get a double dose tonight and tomorrow at Logue's Black Raven Emporium in East Nashville. No word on what the second feature will be (as will be the custom in the Cult Fiction Underground, the basement grindhouse proprietors Robert Logue and Robert Slendorn christened last weekend) — but the main attraction is Coffin Joe's 2008 joint Embodiment of Evil.
That trailer is so sick, so vile, so indefensibly NSFW, that Country Life couldn't post it ... except after the jump. So above, here's a taste of a
kinder gentler older Coffin Joe, in the trailer for his 1964 magnum opus At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul. Doors open at 6 p.m., with movies at 8; admission is $7. Logue's Black Raven Emporium is at 2915 Gallatin Road.
From last night's Q&A at the Great Escape. Pay no attention to the idiot at stage left. By the way, Uslan, executive producer of The Dark Knight Rises and the entire Batman franchise since the 1989 Tim Burton version — in town for the Film-Com film financing and distribution market — stayed more than an hour afterward signing his book The Boy Who Loved Batman and chatting with fans, even though he was already overdue at last night's Nashville Film Festival gala. People were ready to throw him a parade.
If you missed it, many of his best anecdotes from last night are in the book — from the way he checkmated a contemptuous dean into signing off on the first college class in comic-book lit to the image he used to convince people Jack Nicholson would make a great Joker.
Patricia Piccinini is referring to a photograph of one of her sculptures being projected on the screen behind her at the Frist Center artist lecture she presented last Friday evening. A very normal looking white man is on his knees, reverently holding a smiling fish that looks like a white, smushed, peeled Mr. Potato Head, whose scientific name means Fat Head.
I’m not sure if she’s referring to the fish or the human until she proceeds to explain that the fish lives 2,000m deep off the coast of Southern Australia, and was unknown to science until quite recently, when trawler fishing began dragging the gelatinous, boneless fish up from the depths. Despite their recent emergence, they are also on their way out; Picinnini says they are being fished to extinction.
So disappointed that this doesn't feature xenomorph.
I didn't know Third Man did books. (I've been too long gone.) Is there no…
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*Alexandra Grace, not Alexadra Grace